Sunday, June 30, 2019

How Early a Person was Diagnosed to Get Alzheimer’s Diseases? - Alzheimer's #2.

Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German neurologist
(Picture: US National Library of Medicine)
It's over than one century since a German physician and psychiatrist, Alois Alzheimer, observed his patient with suffered loss of memory and language. She (his patient) also had hallucinations, delusions, and cognitive impairment.
She was only 51 year-old and too early to had a dementia, so she was diagnosed as presenile dementia. 
Dr. Alzheimer identified and described her psychological and behavioral, then when she passed away, Dr Alzheimer asked her family to autopsy her brain. 
He took her brain tissue to laboratory and did staining to get observation in her nervous system. Fortunately, at that time the research methods using stain was developed. 
The staining was able to visualize the nerve cells. 
He found “dramatic brain shrinkage and abnormal deposits in and around nerve cells” and the abnormal deposit in today are called amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.


Histopathology of Alzheimer's diseases 
(Picture from Neuroscience, Purves, et al)
From the picture, the yellow colors are neurofibrillary tangles, and brown darks are amyloid plaques. Specifically, they are in the neocortex, amygdala, and brainstem. 
The causes of Alzheimer's Disease is not fully understand yet. 
There are three principle features could be detected in every person who severe with the Alzheimer's disease:
  1. Collection of intra-neuronal cytoskeletal filaments or neurofibrillary tangles, also known as aggregate tau protein in the brain.
  2. Extracellular deposit of an abnormal amyloid or amyloid plaques.
  3. A diffuse loss of neurons. The accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques lead to death of neuron cells so that the brain became shrinkage. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

How Many Times a Year that You Visit Car Service Center?

Car service center

I need to come to the car service center at least one per 4 months or 3 times a year for oil changes.

In addition to oil change, I also ask the service men to do basic services such as:
- Checking filter whether change needed
- Checking washer fluid
- Checking brake fluid
- Checking anti freeze
- Checking steering fluid.

Since my car is Japanese car, Toyota brand, thus, I come to Toyota care center in my city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Service check in

It is requirement by government (local government) to check emission and smock in authorized centers every year.

If nothing happen, I just pay US$ 15 to US$ 25 for inspection fee, depending on the seriousness of problems.

It is because I did at private inspection centers. Actually, US$ 10 for local government inspection fee only.

The waiting room

I bought my Toyota ten years ago (in 2009), I feel that a lot of benefit for serving my car regularly, few are:

- Car is running smoothly
- Hassle free
- Increase driving safety
- Lower running cost compared to the same car age.

A cup of coffee

The service is not take too long, usually 1 hour. If a lot of things must be checked and replaced, then take two hours or little bit longer.

There is a waiting room which provides self service of a hot coffee. We may drink a cup of hot coffee or milk coffee while waiting the service is completed.

By the way, How Many Times a Year that You Visit Car Service Center?

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Do you know the signs of late stage of Alzheimer's Disease? - Alzheimer's #1

An electric fireplace (Photo: Overstock)


It was late Winter when I went to Claire's house. 

Chilled outside but in the house was warm enough.

I saw an electric fireplace was on. Claire's uncle was sitting on his wheelchair in front of the fireplace. He was a big guy, and turned around. 

When he saw me, he unlocked his chair and got couples of little steps toward me and he moved his right hand to me. 

I thought he wanted to greet me by hand shaking, but he pulled my hand and kissed it.

He always did the same things to every woman. Women only. He could recognize between man and woman. 

Not always! Because he asked about me to his nurse aid, “Who's the man?” I guessed he didn't see my ponytail. 

He went back to his spot, in front of fireplace. He tried unbutton his top pajama, and took it off. He wanted to put top pajama on through his feet. Claire came to him and fixed it.

He counted his pajama buttons, “One, two, three, four!” And he said, “Four!”

His nurse aid said, “Yes, you have four buttons.” He recount again and tell her, recount again and tell her, again, and again. 

I asked Claire that was he easy get upset, angry, mad, or fight?



Illustration only

Claire believe it depends on how we talk to him, they always try to turn his attention into another one, and keep him with the activity that he able to do it.

He wandered and did flip the time. He sleep tightly at day time and awake at all night long.
It was a little hard when he insisted to get out of house in the middle night to go church for Mass. 

Every time he want to go church, he tried to get up, pulled the handle door, but the door had been locked and he kicked the door, screamed that he would be late to go Mass.

Spring, I didn't meet Claire. 

Summer now. I heard from Claire that his uncle in the late stage Alzheimer's (Stage 7 or severe decline). He lose words and he is not able to talk. 


He has difficulty to swallow. He eat pureed meal and drink thick liquid. He has infection of pneumonia. He has trouble in breathing and need breathing treatments. Hospice is taking care of him. He behaves well, quite, and calm.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Why Mobile Phone May Lead You Older Quickly?

Tech neck due to look down to mobile phone

We might know that a lot of factors may lead to aging faster. Few examples are:
- Lack of sleep. Normal sleep is 6 to 8 hours a day.
- Smoking
- Drinking
- Sunlight
- Sitting more than normal

I am quite surprised that mobile phone may cause aging quickly. Why? How?

Many people use their mobile phone to conduct activities such as:
- Reading and sending messages
- Checking their social medias: twitter, face book, blogging
- Internet connecting to search information
- Playing game
- Updating with news
- Watching TV and movies

An illustration image

If above activities need looking down to mobile phone too long, it would cause what experts call as “tech neck.”

Tech neck could stress muscles and skin, then cause pain and stiffness to neck and shoulder. Pain in the long run may lead to headaches.

Tech neck is wrinkle, pain, and headache that make people look older. 

Looking down while walking

Another problem with using cell phone too much is “digital dementia.” It is because users depend everything on cell phone, include information.


Then it leads to “the breakdown of cognitive abilities,” where cell phones dependent losses short term memories. 

If we look down our electronic devices (phone, laptop and tabloid) let’s say more than 4 hours daily, then we may have problems relate to aging.

How many hours a day that you look down to your cell phone or other electronic devices?

Friday, June 21, 2019

Can Succulents Improve Room Humidity?

A kind of Aloe vera

We may surprise that there are more than 200 species of succulents, and each species may consist of 40 varieties.

When we went to one of nurseries in my city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana that we saw more than 20 species and varieties of succulent plants.

Around 35 important species have been planted in gardens or small industries all over the world, some of them are:
- Aloe vera
- hens and chick succulent
- burro’s tails
- Panda Plant
- Roseum
- Pincushion Cactus

Variety of hens and chick succulent

One of special about succulent that they could store water in their body (leaves and stems), thus, many people believes that succulent is a symbol of enduring love.

I myself have one species of succulent, Aloe vera. I put the plant inside when temperature drop during winter season, and outside when spring and summer.


Variety of burro’s tails

I use Aloe vera to treat my hair some times. It is because the succulent contains “proteolytic enzymes” to make smooth and shiny hair.

Then, Can Succulents Improve Room Humidity? Yes, sure. Several other benefits of succulent include:
- Improve skin cells
- Function as conditioner to take care our hair
- Improve hair growth
- Prevent itching on our scalp
- Improve purify the air, thus enrich fresh oxygen
- Brighten the room
- Improve pain tolerance
Do you have succulents indoor or outdoor (in your garden?) What kinds of succulent do you have? A Cactus?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Have You Ever Tasted Matcha Latte with Soy Milk or Almond Milk?

Matcha Latte

Do you like coffee latte?

How about matcha latte?

Matcha is green tea (Camellia Sinensis) leaves powder. Matcha is from Japanese word that means ground tea because the leaves of green tea have been done by grinding in the stones or granites to produce very fine powdered green tea leaves.

So what's fascinated me about matcha?

The ways how to produce matcha. I just knew that before harvesting, all tea trees have to be covered to block the direct sunlight.

After the tea leaves grow rapidly, in the Spring, about three week before harvest, men in the tea fields prepare the poles and reed woven mats or dried rice stalk woven to shade the tea fields. 

Blocking the sunlight is to block the process of photosynthesis.


Matcha Latte with soy milk.

These fresh green tea leaves must be immediately steamed for about 20 seconds to prevent oxidation so that the green color remains bright, the aroma and nutrients are maintained, then the leaves ready for the next step, drying process.

After drying, the next process is to select and remove fine branches or parts which are not needed, then the leaves are made into powder by using millstone or granite, so that they become very fine powder. 

We do not drink tea leaves, do we? After the tea leaves soaked in water, we get rid off the tea leaves. 

But matcha green tea is in powdered form, so that when we drink matcha means we drink the whole tea leaves. Nothing to discard.

My experience for the first time drink matcha tea seemed like taking herbal medicine. 

Since the some of coffee shops serve matcha in their menu, sometimes I like to have matcha latte, either with soy milk or almod milk.


Have you ever tasted matcha latte with soy milk or almond milk?

Friday, June 14, 2019

Is Oyster Favorite Seafood in Louisiana?

A Louisiana oyster dish

Sea foods, fisheries, and shellfish are important products of my state, Louisiana. The products contributed US$ 1.8 billion in the state economics.

In term of production, Louisiana is second largest after Alaska. Louisiana catches 1.3 billion pounds of marine creatures, while Alaska produced 5.3 billion pounds of seafood.

Oyster is one of my favorite seafood. Louisiana oyster has different taste compared to other oysters.

Louisiana oyster is quite like meat texture with “fresh earth” (earthy) flavor. Just to remind you that Louisiana oysters are harvested from Gulf of Mexico.

Other oysters which live in the ocean let’s say Pacific and Atlantic are different in tastes than Louisiana oyster. The tastes could be saltier and sweeter.


Oysters are harvested from public sea in Louisiana

Prices of Louisiana oyster dishes are range from US$ 9.00 to US$ 12 per six oysters, depend on kinds of restaurants.

I think price for raw oysters is quite cheap, US$ 30 for a 100 pound. It means that US$ 0.3 for 1 pound, contains 2 to 3 oysters per pound.

I often eat oysters in US$ 12 restaurants where I can eat everything available menus: fish, oyster, chicken, noodle, pizza, fruits, cake, ice cream and etcetera.

A fishing boat to harvest oysters

Public may harvest oysters from Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, in certain seasons. Oyster could be found in the areas such as:
- Shallow tidal zones
- Sub tidal zones.
- Estuaries
- Brackish water

Open season started in September and closed in April. Louisiana authority in this case “Wildlife and Fisheries Commission” may decide to close or open the areas based on biological data.


Finally, have you taste an oyster? What do you think about the taste: sweeter, salty or earthy?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Do You Know that Some Musical Instruments Made from Bamboo?

Bamboo trees in the right side of LA Interstate 10

It's said that music is a good therapy for better quality of life.

Sometimes people prefer to the tone and rhythm from a specific musical instrument, and it's happening to one of my friend, Zhao Ya Li. 

She was so excited about this therapy and texted me about it. 

Ya Li is a person with peculiar favorite things. She only enjoy the music whenever the flute is dominant. 

The matter is the flute that she needs is a bamboo flute. She got some of bamboo flute music in her gadgets. But that isn't enough. 

She's missed to play the flute. She ask me join her looking for the flute in Asian Markets.

We could not find one but we got out with an umbrella from the Market. This umbrella looks gorgeous, with ribs, stretchers, caps, springs, and runners made from bamboo. 

Ya Li could not find the flute, but she got an umbrella

Ya Li loves every single thing made out of bamboo. In her kitchen, she has kitchen and table wares from bamboo, and many beautiful bamboo chopsticks.

She was grown in Panda's country. Whenever she introduce herself, proudly she said, “I am from the Kingdom of Bamboo”. 

I understand how her love to bamboo. Especially her lucky bamboo in her antique hand-painted porcelain flower pot that she put among of the bamboo lanterns. 

Now, she just need to release her anxiety by playing bamboo flute. She believes that playing music can relax her mind and energize her body. 

She just texted me that she just placed a classical bamboo flute order by online. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Can Texting Make You Shopping More and Fat?

Shopping more after texting

Many researchers found that texting while doing activities such as walking or jogging may make people get fatter.

It is because texting make people reduce their steps, slow their movement, thus metabolism slow down, then calories burning less in our body.

Smart phone has similar and even might be better than certain portable computer in term of internet connections and applications.

We can use multiple functions of a smart phone such as sending e-mail, texting few words, making friendly call, searching information through internet, watching video, playing game and many more.

Illustration of a shopping cart

Programs provide watching live events around us, state wide or nationally. We also connecting to social medias include blogger, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and others.

These activities may categorized as “sedentary,” and disturbing exercises of running, jogging and walking just because to check messages, taking photos and sending photos to social medias.

The question then: Can Texting Make You Shopping More and Fat? The simple answer is yes! Why?

It is because texting and internet connecting cell phone prompt people to:
- Deviate from their shopping list.
- Tend to buy hedonistic products that unrelated to lists
- Tend to buy more, and tend to forget from original lists.
- Shopping malls send distract messages to buy their attractive products than your own list.


It is suggested that you executed your plan first, then you may use your mobile phone later on. What do you thinks?

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Can Botulinum Lethal Toxin Turned to be Beneficial Substance?

Illustration

I'm still excited about botulinum toxin, since I know that botulinum toxin is a potent and deadly substance.

This substance produced by a kind of a rod bacteria that can exist in low or free oxygen, Clostridium botulinum.

Even though this kind of bacteria are very common in sample of water and soil throughout the world, the canned foods and honey also can be contaminated.

It was many years ago, especially in the under developing countries, This toxin was a killer that hard to overcome. Clostridium botulinum release toxin that able to kill human.

The early of symptoms of this toxin are fatigue, weak, blur eyes, and vertigo. 

Following by difficult to swallow and speak, also vomiting and diarrhea or constipation.

Then it can radiant to weakness in the neck and arms, and muscle in lower body.

This toxin can cause seizure and dead because it impacts nervous system. It can cause flaccid paralysis that leads to respiratory failure, because diaphragm muscle, and muscle related to breathing process becomes weak and paralyze.

As we know botulinum toxic have been identified as:
- Foodborne botulism. It occurs by consuming food that contaminate with this kind of bacteria or their spore. The spore can germinate and produce toxin too.

- Wound botulism. It could be caused by the wound infection. The open wound infected by the spores or bacteria.

- Infant botulism. The baby ingest the spore and then in the baby's gut bacteria grow and release toxin. It infect the baby under 6 months.

- Inhalation botulism, when the person inhaled the botulinum concentrate (aerosolized), It intents to biology weapon or bioterrorism.


Why does the toxin lethal and deadly? The toxin can cause the paralysis of peripheral neuromuscular junction, which is the junction between our nerve to the muscle.

The muscle or striated muscle will excited whenever the nerve release chemical substance acetylcholine.

Botulinum then inactive the protein that regulate release of acetylcholine. Because acetylcholine releasing is prevented by toxin, the muscle cannot excite anymore and becomes paralyze.

Good news that engineers turned this lethal toxin to beneficial substance. The purified protein of botulinum toxin when administered by injection into the muscle, it can cause local paralyze.

Based on the concepts, this toxin is used in pharmacology for certain disorders, and also for specifically anti-wrinkle.

Now, I understand that botulinum toxin can be used to cure and heal some diseases beside for cosmetic such as face rejuvenation.

Xanthostemon chrysanthus with atractive yellow flowers.

Xanthostemon chrysanthus with yellow flowers. The petals are always attractive. It does not matter about their colors, petals alwa...